No. 5 Georgia big favorite in first game against UMass
UMass (4-7) at No. 5 Georgia (9-1, No. 5 CFP), 4 p.m. EST (SEC Network)
Line: Georgia by 45
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Georgia is looking to close its regular season with nonconference wins over UMass and Georgia Tech next week to protect its hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff for the second straight year — if it could beat No. 1 Alabama in the SEC championship game. UMass is playing for the biggest upset in school history against what coach Mark Whipple says is the best team the Minutemen have ever faced.
UMass WR Andy Isabella vs. Georgia CBs Deandre Baker, Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes. Baker is a semifinalist for the Bednarik and Thorpe awards while Isabella is a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Isabella leads the nation with 1,479 yards receiving on 87 catches and is especially dangerous because he lines up at multiple positions, including in the backfield. Stokes could make his first start.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UMass: After fifth-year senior quarterback Andrew Ford suffered a season-ending injury against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 20, junior Michael Curtis and Ross Comis have each made starts. Comis threw for four touchdowns and ran for two against Liberty and completed 23 of 33 passes for 183 yards in last week’s 35-16 loss to BYU.
Georgia: TB D’Andre Swift ran for a career-high 186 yards with a touchdown in last week’s 27-10 win over Auburn. It was his third-straight 100-yard game as he has emerged as the leader of the tailback tandem with Elijah Holyfield, who also has remained productive. Georgia is one of six FBS teams to have two players run for at least 700 yards. Swift has 808 and Holyfield has 767.
FACTS & FIGURES
UMass is 0-8 against SEC teams. The Minutemen have been competitive in their most recent games, including 2017 losses to Mississippi State (34-23) and Tennessee (17-13). ... UMass was 0-3 against SEC teams in 2016, including a close 34-28 loss to South Carolina. The Minutemen average 34.3 points per game, just under Georgia’s average of 37.0. ... Georgia QB Jake Fromm ranks second in the SEC with his 67.5 completion percentage. The school record is 67.9 by Hutson Mason in 2014.